Mon-Tue and Thu-Fri, 11:30am-4pm; Wed, 11:30am-10pm; Sat-Sun, closed
C, E at Spring St.; 1 at Houston St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Even by non–New York standards, Cafe Mae Mae keeps short hours. That’s because prime times are reserved for Great Performances, the catering operation well known for its society weddings and corporate fund-raisers as well as a string of cafés that keep patrons at top New York venues well fed. This warmly cozy café–cum–intimate party space offers nearby workers savory lunchtime panini and tasty small plates. Local oenophiles enjoy a low-key enoteca—Tuscan winemaker Agricola Querciabella’s products, among many other bottles, adorn the café’s walls—and savvy tourists happily linger over pots of Keemun tea, with or without desserts like seasonal cakes or a strawberry rhubarb crumble. As is often the case with crowd-pleasing catering, entrée presentations overshadow the flavors. More successful are the salads, like farm-fresh greens dressed with 25-year-old sherry vinegar. With red walls and dark wood guaranteed to flatter, the burnished setting feels like movie-set Europe; an arched gold mirror echoes the arched front door and side dining nook. Red shades brighten up sconces and the large, central chandelier. Café tables sit across from a curvaceous mahogany bar, with plenty of stools for the lunchtime bustle.Extra
The café hosts live music performances on Wednesday nights. Reservations are accepted for parties of six or more.Recommended Dishes
Cobb salad, $14